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Industry insider

The genSeration game

In spite of increasing demands, and variability thereof,

of demand for electrical

power aboard superyachts, generator manufacturers are ably meeting the challenge with product development harnessing the latest electronic and mechanical technology

Words BoB GreenWood

northern lights genset


eldom seen and barely heard of ‘the internet of things’. Not only are they these days, thanks to ongoing generally powered by diesel engines that re nement, generators are the themselves have to be electronically managed beating heart providing the in order to meet ever more stringent electrical power that’s the emissions regulations, they also need to lifeblood that sustains communicate with other systems so that they

comfortable life aboard superyachts. Away can meet precisely the different electrical

from shore power and often even when that’s available, nearly every system aboard a big yacht depends on them. Duties can range from air conditioning to zero–speed stabilisers and including navigational systems, all electronics and watermakers, thrusters and all ‘hotel’ loads. Just about all superyachts will have at least two generators, generally located in the engine room to ensure redundancy backup. Many will have a third for night duty,

while for hybrid propulsion they’re an integral component.

With the myriad of electronically interconnected systems aboard today’s superyachts, generators, like almost everything else, have become digitized as part


loads being demanded of them. And, more often than not these days, they need to be accessible via Wi-Fi and internet connection with personal and laptop computers, smart phones and tablets.

Many of the larger manufacturers of marine engines also produce the generator sets that are most widely used in superyachts. For instance, Northern Lights, which claims global market leadership in the superyacht sector, is the generator brand of the Seattle, USA-based Alaska Diesel. Also based in the US is Onan, another important player in the superyacht generator sector and a business of Cummins, the world’s largest manufacturer of diesel engines. US company Caterpillar, is also

Lürssen’s 86m Quatroelle at anchor making full use of her generators

Photo: @Klaus Jordan

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